LCIF and UNODC Lead a Joint Presentation on Evidence-based Drug Prevention Education
In March 2020, Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) jointly organized a side-event called "School-based Prevention Strategies that Work: The Global UNODC-LCIF Partnership" at the 63rd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The event has served as a platform for promoting the effective drug demand reduction initiative achieved through Lions Quest as result of collaboration between UNODC and LCIF.
The Lions Quest program develops social emotional learning skills to prevent and/or delay the onset of drug use among young people.
The Lions Quest program develops social emotional learning skills to prevent and/or delay the onset of drug use among young people. Lions Quest is closely monitored and evaluated globally, and in South East Europe, implementation has shown positive results particularly related to improved refusal skills and the overall reduction of substance use as well as the reduction of the intention to use substances among students. Following the positive outcomes achieved in South Eastern Europe previously, the program expanded to Croatia, Guatemala, El Salvador and Cote d'Ivoire where LCIF and UNODC arranged capacity-building workshops for teachers to ensure proper dissemination of the program curricula in the selected schools.
One certified Lions Quest trainer in Croatia took part in the event to share her experience. The trainer emphasized the importance of using evidence-based strategies for prevention and praised the added value of Lions Quest. She described Lions Quest as "designed to respond to the changing world of children and their families by helping to create the meaningful experiences, opportunities and relationships children need in order to become caring, capable, and contributing members of society".
Furthermore, the trainer pointed out the benefits Lions Quest has on youth as it emphasizes basic life skills, character development, prevention of behavior disorders, and relationship-centered learning in the classroom. She concluded with an overview of the current and future implementation plan for the pilot in Croatia. For additional information, please see the UNODC web story on the event: UNODC and LCIF promote drug demand reduction through school-based prevention strategies available at www.unodc.org/southeasterneurope by Milos Stojanovic and Diane Sahakian.
As part of their collaboration, LCIF and UNODC have arranged a presentation on the Lions Quest project for the annual Commission on Narcotic Drugs for the past five years. The event builds on joint efforts to promote evidence-based interventions as good practice and further strengthens the LCIF-UNODC partnership. The side event, attended by more than 90 people, concluded with a discussion on the ways to increase cooperation in the field of drug demand reduction and the importance of pursuing efforts in this field.
Ariel Dickson, is the Lions Clubs International Foundation regional specialist for Lions Quest programming in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and South Asia.